Gone In A Flash – Mobile Flash Player Discontinued

Game Over?

In the battle over the mobile web, the Flash Mobile Player has officially been blocked by the HTML5 lineup (arguably with Steve Jobs as the forward-thinking QB). In an Adobe blog post yesterday, VP Danny Winokur stated:

“We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.”

For phones and tablets, the future is clear; however, the battle isn’t over. According to Mashable, “Adobe has added more robust cross-platform mobile development features to Flash Professional and added native iOS streaming to Flash Media Server,” maintaining “a strong commitment to Flash as a development platform separate from a technology stack.”

In line with more brands moving toward a hybrid approach (see post on Pandora), Adobe is astutely refocusing its efforts on native apps and aggressively contributing to HTML5.

What do you think? Without mobile, has Adobe Flash become irrelevant?

Update: Adobe also told GigaOM it has stopped supporting Flash on digital home devices, such as HDTVs.

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

HTML5 is Going to Solve All of Your Problems…Right?

There’s a lot of talk these days about HTML5, specifically in regards to the web and what it means for the future of video. Did you not get the memo?

“Dear Desloper (Designer+Developer) community, HTML5 has introduced a <video> tag and all you need to do is give the source of your file and it will play videos in all the browsers and devices of the universe.”

Can it really be that easy? Nope. As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” – and the same applies to embedding video in HTML5.

The popularity of HTML5 becomes more and more important with the way arch-rivals Adobe and Apple get along with each other.  The miserable deslopers start looking for an alternative to Flash to play video on Apple devices. HTML5 – and its <video> tag – is therefore seen as somewhat of a savior. No Flash or Quicktime to play a video? Where do I sign up?

However, with different parties supporting different video standards, the desloper community needs to keep in mind that they need to encode video into different formats so that various browsers can understand their video format.

For converting the video to iPhone, Apple provides a tool named Quick Time Pro which you can buy (or let your generous boss pay for it) for conversion purposes. Quick Time Pro will make your life easy to convert your video (Quick time format) file into MP4 which you can play on iPhone for both web and desktop applications.

The fun starts when you have to play H.264 video format in Mozilla Firefox (my favorite browser and probably most developers’ favorite too).

Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

W3C: HTML5 Is Not For Production Sites

Well what do you know? Just 6 months ago in my post about 5 Reasons Flash is Here to Stay, I wrote reason #1 is that HTML5 is an immature and incomplete standard. Well now I have some support for that from none other than the web standards setting body itself – The W3C.

In an interview today on InfoWorld, W3C lead Philippe Le Hégaret had this to say about HTML5:

“The problem we’re facing right now is there is already a lot of excitement for HTML5, but it’s a little too early to deploy it because we’re running into interoperability issues.”

“I don’t think it’s ready for production yet.”

Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Testing the Limits with Lanette Creamer – Part I

Next up in our Testing the Limits series is Lanette Creamer. Known to many in the QA blogosphere as “Testy Redhead”, Lanette has over ten years of experience in the software industry, including her current role as Quality Lead with Adobe. Like many of our guests, she writes a popular testing blog, publishes technical papers and has been known to speak at a conference or two. And yes, she’s on Twitter.

In part I of our interview, we get her thoughts on testers vs. hardware; the idea of “quality advocacy”; why unemployed testers should study The Price is Right;  life as a shift manager at a charity bingo parlor; and much more. When you’re done with one, be sure to check out part II.

uTest: What’s the biggest trend/challenge in testing that no one’s talking about yet?
LC: Testers are breaking out of the office like William Wallace, but with laptops, not swords. How much more affordable is it for a company to buy a great laptop every few years than all sorts of different hardware? Let someone else manage the machines so we can focus on the testing. Of course, this isn’t appropriate for every context, but I’m interested in going beyond multi-boot systems, local images, and to truly getting out of the business of managing hardware. I’m interested in cloud-based imaging. Part of my personal strategy of investing in one laptop that can run multiple operating systems is the temping ability to verify the scope of a bug on one machine. To do that without even rebooting with more built-in logging and debugging tools is really the next step to freedom from hardware and location-reliant testing.

uTest: In the last year, we’ve noticed you blog about the prospect of unemployment. What advice do you have for other testers who find themselves in this situation? Should they just wake up at noon, watch The Price is Right and eat nachos until a hiring manager comes knocking on the door? Or should they try to keep their skills sharp? If it’s the latter, then please elaborate on how to go about this.
LC: The Price is Right can teach you something amazing about interviewing. Have you ever noticed who they pick? It is the most enthusiastic people with the best stories. Come on down, job candidate! You’re the next contestant on The Job is Right. Can you imagine what The Price is Right would be like if they picked a contestant who was just above it all? Laughed at the fabulous prizes? Ignored the host? Win or lose, play the job interview game with style and be memorable. Also, I do like nachos. Layer the cheese and make them in the oven.

Well, rather than bouts of unemployment, I’ve been facing one very long pending layoff. I’ve not yet experienced the unemployment part, so maybe your readers can help me out with their advice when that happens. As a part of the CS5 team, my layoff isn’t effective until June, and it impacted every tester on my current team. The day I first became aware of my pending layoff, I felt a bit powerless. I realized that it was really up to me to decide what to do next. I decided that I wanted to end well and finish the project, and I really wanted to complete my 10 years at Adobe. I am proud of my work for my entire career at Adobe, and that hasn’t changed with my layoff notice.

Here’s what I recommend for those of you working in a job that you know is ending:

Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

5 Reasons Flash Is Here to Stay

Apple’s recent changes to their developer agreement have unleashed a torrent of anger, hate, and divisiveness on the Internet (which, to my knowledge, has never happened before).  To summarize, Apple announced that the only languages that can be used to develop applications for the iPhone are Javascript, C, C++, and Objective C.  This change was seen as a slap in the face to Adobe who was developing a Flash-to-iPhone app converter that would have made it easy to migrate a Flash application to the iPhone.

Through all of this bitterness, many have argued that Flash is ready for the deadpool – some even cheering its demise.  I disagree.  Actually, I believe just the opposite is true.  Here are 5 reasons why Flash won’t be going away anytime soon.

1. HTML5 is still very immature.
HTML5 is everyone’s favorite choice as a Flash replacement. Read the comments sections on just about any blog or article about this topic, and HTML5 is often hailed as the greatest thing to happen to computing since Apple “invented” the mouse (with Xerox’s help).  The problem with HTML5 is that it’s still an immature and unfinished platform.  While it’s supported by the very latest versions of Firefox, Safari, and Chrome, it’s not yet fully supported in Internet Explorer (although IE9 will bring support eventually). If most of the browsers on the web don’t yet support HTML5, it’s not a fully supported standard.

Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing